April 1, 2017
Hebrews 12:1-2 (NASB) – Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance and sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
The Lord gave me a vision of athletes in a race. They were all running their own race and they each had a different road ahead of them. In every case I saw Jesus was cheering them on and running with them. He was so eager to see them stay the course and not be distracted as He knew the road ahead of them and He knew the importance of the path He had planned for them. I saw some runners stumble and fall on the road as their eyes turned off the path and on to distractions on the side of the road or on side roads. As they raised their hand to Jesus for help He was right there to help them up and see them continue the run. The Lord also showed me some runners who had great weights attached to their backs which were greatly impeding their run and movement. As they submitted the weights to Jesus they were able to run with freedom and greater speed. I saw other runners hurdle over obstacles on their road with such ease as they surrendered all to the Lord and kept their eyes on Him. They were releasing a sound of praise as they leapt over the obstacles. They had great faith in the Lord who was leading them on their course. The Lord also showed me there were runners who were batted by wind and tough terrain and they were weary on their run. The Lord came to renew and revive them and give them strength to keep going. They had joy and hope even in the midst of tough terrain. The runners passed through different road conditions at different times on their race course but at each section they were given what they needed to move through that part of the course.
We are all running the race of faith in our Christian life. We are called to remain faithful to the course and finish the race strongly. The Lord wants you to know He is running this race with you. He is cheering you on and interceding for you every step of the way. He will never leave you or forsake you. This race is about faithfulness and perseverance. There will be times along our course of the race where we are tempted to focus on distractions and we stumble. Jesus is reminding us to focus on Him and the path set before us because He has gone before us and knows the path ahead. God has a race path or a destiny for each of us and our role is to be obedient to the leading of the Holy Spirit and follow the path the Lord has planned for us. We are invited to give ourselves fully to the task of following the course appointed to us. We can be confident that the Lord will equip us to complete every part of our race. Hebrews 13:21 (NLT) – may he equip you with all you need for doing his will. May he produce in you, through the power of Jesus Christ, every good thing that is pleasing to him. All glory to him forever and ever! Amen. 1 Thessalonians 5:24 (NASB) – Faithful is He who calls you, and He will bring it to pass.
It is important for us to cast off everything that hinders us, anything that slows us down or trips us in our race. We should rid ourselves of anything that impedes our progress. The Lord is inviting us to surrender all to Him and He will remove any hindrances. We can give Him our worries and burdens and He will fill us with His peace. The Lord wants us to run our race with freedom and joy. We are to lay aside any unbelief and doubt but instead trust in God and His promises as He is faithful to bring to pass everything He has promised. We are to set our mind on things above and use our spiritual sight as we run our race as when we do this we will see the road ahead very differently. Our role is to be obedient to the leading of the Holy Spirit and to walk by faith and not by sight. Hebrews 10:23 (NASB) – Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful. Colossians 3:2 (NASB) – Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth.
This race of faith is not always an easy one but we can be confident the Lord is always with us and His Spirit is guiding us. We are called to persevere even when there are obstacles in our race. In 1 Timothy 6:12 we read we are to ‘fight the good fight of the faith’. We can rise above our struggles and know we are overcomers in Christ as He has already won the victory for us. The Lord is reminding us to praise and trust Him in all parts of our race. This will cause us to leap over obstacles that may come our way in our race. God honours faith and great faith honours God and gives glory to Him. The steadfastness of the Old Testament ‘witnesses’ in Hebrews chapter 11 speaks to us of the rewards of never giving up. Their unyielding faith points to Jesus and urges us to follow their example and run with perseverance the race marked out for us. Philippians 3:14 (NASB) – I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. Jesus is our example of how to run the race and we are to walk as He walked. 1 John 2:6 (NASB) – the one who says he abides in Him ought himself to walk in the same manner as He walked.
The Lord is highlighting the need to lean on Him as our source of strength when we are weary in our race. He is inviting us to draw closer to Him in the tough parts of the race, to rest in His embrace and trust in Him. He wants to fill us with joy, hope and peace. It is our intimate relationship with Christ that allows us to endure and have joy in all parts of our race. Philippians 4:13 (NASB) – I can do all things through Him who strengthens me. Isaiah 40:31 (NASB) – Yet those who wait for the Lord will gain new strength; They will mount up with wings like eagles, they will run and not get tired, they will walk and not become weary.
Be encouraged as you run your race of faith – the Lord is running with you and He knows the race course He has planned for you. Cast off anything that is hindering your race and run with joy, hope and freedom. Praise Him and trust in Him as He is faithful to equip you with all you need for every part of the course. Draw close to the Lord and allow Him to renew you and give you strength in the hard times of the race. Run the race appointed to you and keep your eyes fixed on Jesus.